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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Recycled Markers

Don't throw away those dried up markers! Instead, use them as paint pens.
Let the children dip them into water then "paint" on the paper. That way you can get an extra use out of the markers and have mess-free paint all in one!

No-Bake Modeling Clay

(Picture from Google Images)

Recipe Courtesy of KinderArt


3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
Some warm water and a bowl to mix in.

Mix the flour, salt and cornstarch in bowl. Gently add warm water until the mixture becomes slightly hard. Knead the mixture and create small sculptures. Once dry, you can paint your creations. Try making jewelry like beads or pendants.

Recycle Broken Crayons

We go through TONS of crayons at work. Lots of times the crayons break, and the kids are less interested in the broken ones...I'm not sure why but they just don't seem as appealing anymore. But I have a way to recycle those little bits of crayons and make them a little bit more attractive to those little eyes!

Here is how:
1. Gather broken crayons and take off the paper wrapping.
2. Preheat oven to 265 degrees.
3. Break up crayons into smaller pieces.
4. Place like colors into small muffin tins. (Silicone muffin shapes are easier)
5. Place in oven 6-8 mins. (You will know they are done when you can no longer see shape of crayon-but don't keep them in past this stage.)
6. Place in freezer for a few minutes
7. Take out of tray and color!

Homemade Silly Putty

I LOVE this recipe! I recently bought Silly Putty at Walgreens that came in cute little Easter eggs. When I brought them to work and let the kids play with them they felt nothing like silly putty! You couldn't pull it or it would just break in half. It was a total bust...So I was bound and determined to find a recipe to make silly putty that had the same consistency as the silly putty I grew up playing with and I finally found a good one. (Keep out of hair...impossible to remove!)

Here is the recipe:

1 c. Liquid Starch
1 c. Elmers Glue
Food coloring

Pour ingredients into cup and let kids mix it by squishing it together (You could use a spoon too). When mixed it makes awesome silly putty. After kids are done playing with it, roll into balls and store in freezer as it is a super ball until it thaws.
Mix together equal portions of glue and starch. Knead together. If too sticky, add more starch; if too stringy, add more glue.

Easy Finger Paint

(Photo by The Pumpkin Patch)


2 cups white flour
2 cups cold water
food coloring


Put water into a large bowl. Slowly add the flour, while the children are stirring. Once it's all mixed together, divide into smaller bowls and add food coloring.

Homemade Water Color Paints

(photo by Heather Hackett)

This idea/recipe is courtesy of Lilac Silhouette

- baking soda
- cornstarch
- white vinegar
- light corn syrup (or simply boil one cup sugar and 1/2 cup water until clear, which is what I did)
- food coloring

Combine 3 tablespoons each of the baking soda, cornstarch and vinegar and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the corn syrup/sugar substitute. Allow the fizzing to subside and mix completely. Pour the mixture into whatever you'd like to use to hold your paints. Add the food coloring to create your desired palette and leave out to harden for three hours. Make sure you add the food coloring relatively quickly; the mixture actually starts to solidify almost right away.

Homemade Puff-Paint

This idea/recipe is courtesy of One Crafty Mumma

This is really cool and super quick/easy. Combine the following in a little bowl:

1 tablespoon self-raising flour
a few little drops of food coloring
1 tablespoon salt
Then add some water to make a nice smooth paste.

Paint away on a nice thick sheet of cardboard (if you don't have enough paint brushes use cotton buds - they work really well).

Microwave the design on high for 10 - 30 seconds until the paint puffs and it's all nice and dry. We did ours for 30 seconds.

This could also be considered a science project and you could talk about the effects of heat.

Gluten-Free Play-doh

This recipe is courtesy of Celiac

Gluten-Free Play Dough Ingredients:
½ cup rice flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Food coloring, if desired

Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until it forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.

Peanut Butter Play-Doh

I have made this recipe only once, but it was a huge hit! What kid doesn't love edible play-doh?

All you will need to make this dough is a little honey, powdered milk, and peanut butter. This recipe is perfect for one child, or a couple small children, but you may want to double or triple the recipe depending on the age and amount of kids (or adults) playing. It's very easy to do because it's just...

1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered milk (plus more if needed)


Chocolate Play-Doh!?

I just came across a Chocolate Play-doh recipe and I was totally intrigued. I have never made it, but I think I might have to next week at work! I think this would be a really fun thing to make on someone's birthday or for a holiday like Valentine's Day or St. Patty's Day. You def. don't want to make it too often though-or your kiddies will be bouncing off the walls! Click HERE for the instructions.

Kool-Aid Play-doh

I make this recipe all the time. I find that the pinks/reds work the best for color. If you want to use the lemon or the lime Kool-aid I would suggest using NEON food dye (found at your super marker) and just using a few drips in the water before mixing it all together. Personally, I think the black cherry smells and looks the best!

Kool-Aid Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup iodize salt
3 Tbsp. veg. oil
1 pkg. Kool-Aid powder
1 cup warm/room temp water

Stir together the flour, salt, and Kool-Aid powder in a bowl. Add thewater and oil. Stir and stir and stir until the mixture forms a ball. Gently knead a couple of times then set aside to cool down. Keep in a resealable plastic bag or in a small container.

*If it is too crumbly or dry add more oil, if it is too oily, add more flour.

Genius Finger Paint

How genius is this? Cut a sponge into a few squares, dip it in some finger paint and set it on a napkin. Let the kids dip their fingers on the sponges and paint. This way there won't be as huge of a mess and the kids will have more control of their paint. Also-paint won't soak through the paper causing it to tear or rip.

Velcro Popsicle Sticks

I haven't tried this yet but it looks like it would be a fun thing to play with. Go here for the instructions on how to create these!

Sorting Colors

This is a great activity for young children. You can use paper re-enforcers or yard sale stickers to achieve this. Just use your hole punch on the lid, stick your stickers on, cut up coordinating pipe cleaners, and voila a developmentally appropriate activity for the little ones.

Colorful Bookmarks

I LOVE this idea!

I recently painted my room and grabbed tons of different paint samples at Menards to pick the right color out. When I picked the right colors I had tons of swatches left so I cut them up into long strips and used a Fiskars paper heart punch to punch hearts out. I then used a hole punch and punched out one hole on the top and tied on some ribbon. These would be great to set on a bookshelf to encourage reading.

Recycling Wipe Containers

We go through SO MANY baby wipe containers and I always feel bad throwing them away. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was brilliant. Use those old baby wipe containers for storing card games. Skippo, Phase 10, Swap, Uno, etc. fit perfectly. You could even use them to store monopoly money, or other game pieces. Click Here to see the blog that I got this idea from.

I spy with my little eye...

This is a great idea for kids ages two and up. Put a bunch of tiny little things into a plastic bottle and fill the bottle with rice or sand. Super glue the cap on so that the contents can not fall out of the bottle.

A few ideas to put in:
Little Charms
Small toy animals
Plastic ring
Hard candy
Foam sticker
Pom pom
Thick glitter
Google eyes
Hair tie


I recently tried this recipe for slime with the children I nanny. The two year olds LOVED the texture. Check it out.

White glue (clear glitter glue would be awesome too!)
Food Coloring
2 Bowls
Measuring spoons

Mix together 2 teaspoons of borax with 8 tablespoons of water until dissolved
Put 2 Tablespoons of glue in bowl and add 2 tablespoons water and stir.
Add food coloring to glue
Take 2 Tablespoons of the borax water solution mix into glue solution.
Keep stirring and it should begin to thicken.
Squeeze it in the bowl with your fingers and knead it so that the food dye will have a better effect.
There will be excess water in the bowl-just dump it out and start playing with your slime!

You can use play-doh toys or kid-safe kitchen utensils as well.



Hello and welcome to my nanny blog. My name is Gina and I am a nanny. I have an AAS degree in ECE with an emphasis in Child Development. I am writing this blog using what I know and what I have learned through others as my time being a nanny. You will find tons of nanny resources, crafty ideas, activities, and information about being a nanny here. This is the go to place for nannies!

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